"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior Democratic lawmaker will push legislation this year to repeal a U.S. ban on Internet gambling that has hurt trade ties with the European Union, a congressional aide said. "The bill introduction should happen in the next month," a spokesman for House of Representatives Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said."
Barney Frank (with the able assistance of his faithful sidekick, Chuck Schumer) was the driving force behind the collapse of our banking and mortgage industry, by requiring Fannie May and Freddie Mac to back loans for people who obviously didn't meet the minimum standard to qualify for such loans under established banking principles! Now he wants to insure that a huge amount of American's disposable (and in many cases, not-so-disposable) income be used to support gambling interests overseas? And, to make this acquisition of U.S. dollars even easier for the Europeans, the gamblers won't even have to leave their homes to lose their money! What is wrong with this man's thought processes? Has he lost his mind?
I spent a couple of years working in the gaming industry in Las Vegas, and I have seen what happens to the weak-willed and the undisciplined. These are the folks people generally refer to a "inveterate gamblers", but who casino workers (who are less P.C. than the general public) refer to, and much more accurately, as "gambling degenerates". I saw them lose cars, homes, and families to their addiction ... an addiction they cavalierly refer to as "a fun night out", or "just something to do", or almost anything other than "getting my gambling fix." Until the mid-1900s, people who gambled away more than they could lose were frequenly:
a. coerced into doing business "favors" for the casino management ... IF their line of work proved to be profitable for the casino ownership, or
b. physically abused with fists, brass knuckles, saps, baseball bats, lead pipes, 2x4 lumber, or anything else that may have been handy, or
c. never seen or heard from again.
Items b & c, above, were means of providing examples to others who may be inclined toward slow, incomplete and/or non payment. And the "vigorish" or "vig" for short (interest on money owed) was absolutely outrageous, sometimes doubling the amount lost in a week. These things combined to motivate many people who were otherwise honest and upstanding citizens, but now caught in the machinery of gambling, to commit crimes ranging from prostitution, auto theft and drug dealing, to robbery, embezzlement, and yes, sometimes even maiming and murdering.
But, Las Vegas isn't that place any more ... they say. There is no Mafia there these days - just ask Salvatore, the pit boss from Detroit - or Dominic, the casino manager imported from Chicago - they'll set you straight.
Gambling, for many people, is an addiction. Perhaps it's the socializing at the craps table, the electric atmosphere generated by all those people "having a good time", the lure of the city lights, or just the obscure hope that they can turn their last $10 into $10,000. For those people, gambling is an illness, and they either lack the will-power - or the desire - to cure themselves. They will bet their ability to live indoors, their children's college fund, the money their son was saving for that all-important sex change operation, or any other negotiable item on the next roll of the dice or turn of the cards.
Barney Frank wants to make it almost impossible for them to "kick the habit" ... to escape, what for them is, the grim reaper of gambling, by allowing it into their domiciles. Why should we care if the Europeans are upset by the loss of gambling revenues from Americans? Our laws are supposedly designed to protect those who are incapable of protecting themselves ... even if it's FROM themselves!
Shame on Barney Frank! He's nothing but another punk politician willing to sell out his countrymen for a few words of praise from some foreigners.
I suppose there's a chance I could be wrong about all this ... on second thought ... nah, NO WAY!